Schools and Libraries (E-Rate)

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Step 5 Starting Services

Updated August 2016


After you have received your Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) and the delivery of your services has started, you file an FCC Form 486 to inform USAC that:

  • Services for which you have been approved for discounts have started and invoicing can begin,
  • You are in compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) (or CIPA does not apply because your application is only for telecommunications services and/or interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services).
  • If you are filing the FCC Form 486 for Funding Year 2014 or previous years, your technology plan (if you are required to have one) has been approved by a USAC-certified Technology Plan Approver.

Before Starting Services

In advance of the start of services, you and your service provider(s) should have a conversation about the details of the services you will be receiving. Be sure to review your contract, if you have one. In addition, you should determine whether it will be you or your service provider that will invoice USAC for the discounted amount of the cost of the services.

Note that under certain circumstances, advance installation of some Category One components can occur before July 1 of the funding year.

Filing an FCC Form 486 Early

You can file an FCC Form 486 early (before services have started) if:

  • You have received your FCDL,
  • Your services will start in the month of July,
  • You can truthfully make all of the certifications on the form, which include compliance with the technology plan (if one is required) and CIPA requirements, and
  • You are filing the form on or before July 31.

You must be in compliance with the requirements of CIPA before services start. USAC cannot pay discounts on services received during a period of time when you are not in compliance. USAC may review your compliance with these requirements either before or after your FCC Form 486 is processed.

Filing Deadline

The FCC Form 486 must be certified no later than 120 days after the Service Start Date or 120 days after the date of the FCDL, whichever is later. Filing late can result in a reduction in funding; the later the filing date, the greater the reduction. You can use the Deadlines Tool to calculate your FCC Form 486 deadline.

FCC Form 486 Notification Letter

This letter features the information you provided on the form and outlines the next steps in the application process. If USAC was required to adjust the Service Start Date for a funding request due to a compliance issue, the Service Start Date in the letter will be marked with an asterisk and followed by an explanation of the reason for the adjustment.

Funding Year 2016

After filing an FCC Form 486 for Funding Year (FY) 2016 in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC), applicants will receive a notification in their EPC News feed. A notification will also go to the service provider(s) listed on the form.

Funding Year 2015 and previous years

After USAC completes the processing of your FCC Form 486, USAC will issue the applicant and service provider(s) an FCC Form 486 Notification Letter in the mail.

Next Step

After USAC has processed your FCC Form 486 and you have begun to receive services, you or your service provider can invoice USAC for the discount share of those services.